Today HP announced the new ExSO portfolio. The products are designed for Extreme Scale Out (duh) but are quite applicable for HPC and clusters. After all, the typical HPC user wants highest performance per dollar, and per watt. Yes, these systems are ideal for big Web 2.0 and cloud data centers, but the economics make a lot of sense for mere mortals with 100+ nodes. As the announcement explains, the new ProLiant SL family uses a ”skinless” systems architecture that replaces the traditional chassis and rack form factors with an extremely lightweight rail and tray design.” Multiple nodes share power units and fans, which deliver better power utilization and cooling than possible in traditional 1U servers, as we found with the HP BladeSystem. But also the skinless design means less metal to retain heat, and also less weight. Each SL6000 chassis holds 2 trays. There are currently 3 basic servers available (you can mix and match in a standard rack) – there are the 2 nodes in 1U tray for compute intense apps, a large memory node in 1 U tray for memory intense apps, and a node with up to 6 disks. The energy efficiency is further enabled with the Intelligent ExSO Center including the new Data Center Environmental Edge that provides a visual map of the data center environmental variables.